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Some Olaplex Users Claim the Products Caused Hair Damage—But Here's What a Dermatologist Has to Say

Some Olaplex users have claimed to experience hair breakage, hair thinning and even hair loss, but the brand tells E! News, "We believe in the safety and efficacy of our products."

By Alyssa Morin Jan 24, 2023 10:38 PMTags
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Olaplex is straightening out the controversy surrounding its line.

The award-winning haircare brand is known for its products that claim to repair, protect and strengthen all hair types. And from styling creams and oils to shampoos and conditioners, Olaplex's various offerings have hundreds of glowing reviews online, including on its website, Sephora, Ulta and on social media platforms like TikTok.

But in recent months, Olaplex users said that the products—such as the No. 3 Hair Repair Perfector, No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner and the No.7 Bonding Oil, to name a few—are damaging their hair. Some have claimed that they've experienced hair breakage, hair thinning and even hair loss.

As one Sephora reviewer wrote in August 2022 about the No. 3 Hair Repair Perfector: "This fried my hair after using once for 10 mins as instructed."

"Totally fried my ends and have breakage all the way up the hair shaft," the reviewer continued. "This is after trying to repair it with a moisture mask. Also my hair is falling out in clumps. I'm devastated. My hair was long, fine and silky before and now it's destroyed."

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TikToker @rosies.journeyy showcased the texture of her strands in a September 2022 video.

"After using Olaplex for two months straight, so much of my hair broke off, I had horrible dandruff, my hair completely dried out," she said. "And the only thing that I changed was using the entire Olaplex line."

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In addition to TikTok's community, people have turned to the Facebook Group "Olaplex Hair Loss/Hair Damage?" to detail their experience with the brand. The private group has reached more than 4,000 members since it was created in July 2022.

But despite the complaints some users have spoken out about, Olaplex stands by its products and denies the allegations.

"There is no evidence that Olaplex products cause hair loss or hair breakage," a spokesperson for the brand said in a statement to E! News. "We believe in the safety and efficacy of our products, which are thoroughly tested in-house and by independent third-party laboratories."

Olaplex noted that there are a "wide variety of reasons" people may be experiencing hair breakage or hair loss, "including lifestyle, various medical conditions and medications, the aftereffects of COVID, skin conditions and more."

The brand spokesperson added, "Anyone experiencing consistent hair breakage should consult their stylist and dermatologist to best understand their unique hair and skin needs."

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Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sheila Farhang acknowledged in an exclusive interview with E! News that hair loss is a very complex issue—one that typically isn't caused by hair products.

"Hair loss is a very emotional situation so people speak up about it and want to find answers quickly," she pointed out. "Unfortunately, due to this, I've seen a lot of hair product companies get blamed for something it likely isn't causing."

So, what exactly can cause hair damage? Well, it could be other aspects of your beauty routine.

"Hair damage and breakage could be caused by strong chemicals such as those professionally done—think bleaching," Dr. Farhang said, "and also excessive styling and heating."

The Tucson, Ariz.- and Beverly Hills, Calif.-based dermatologist also noted that health factors such as stress, hormones and nutrient deficiencies can play a role in hair breakage.

And if you're curious about which ingredients in haircare products to steer clear of, she said, "Sulfates (SLS), high alcohol or bleach content products could potentially overly dry your hair and possibly cause it to break if you already have thin damaged hair."

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But again, she stressed that it's best to consult with the experts if you're struggling with any skin, hair or nail issues.

As Dr. Farhang put it, "If you are suffering from hair loss, see your dermatologist so they can diagnose you and treat you appropriately."

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